Ukraine Daily Summary - Monday, March 27

Russian airstrike hits residential buildings in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast -- Putin not ready for negotiations, seeks complete victory -- Russia began receiving ‘regular resupplies’ of small numbers of Iranian drones -- Russia strikes residential area in Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast -- and more

Monday, March 27

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A view of the damaged residential buildings due to the Russian strikes in the frontline city of Avdiivka as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues, on March 23, 2023 in Ukraine. Buildings are heavily damaged by the Russian attacks. (Photo by Andre Luis Alves/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Borrell: Russia’s plan to station nuclear weapons in Belarus ‘threatens European security.’ European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called Russia’s decision to deploy its tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus, for which a storage facility is to be built in summer this year, an “irresponsible escalation and threat to European security.”

NATO denounces Putin’s ‘dangerous and irresponsible’ nuclear rhetoric. On March 26, NATO denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin for his “dangerous and irresponsible” nuclear rhetoric. The criticism comes in response to Putin’s threat to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus for training, marking the latest in a series of nuclear threats from Moscow aimed at Ukraine and the West.

Official: Number of Russian troops in Belarus decreases to around 4,000. This figure is less than half the number of troops Russia had in Belarus in January, when about 10,000 servicemen were stationed near the Ukrainian border, upholding the threat of a new attack on Ukraine from the north.

ISW: Putin not ready for negotiations, ‘seeks complete victory’. Russian President Vladimir Putin still wants to achieve his initial aims in Ukraine through military force, despite growing Western sentiments to seek a settlement, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update.

UK Defense Ministry: Russia began receiving ‘regular resupplies’ of small numbers of Iranian drones. Since the beginning of March, Russia has launched at least 71 attacks on Ukraine using Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones, following a two-week pause in drone attacks in late February, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its latest intelligence update. According to the ministry, it indicates that “Russia has likely started receiving regular resupplies of small numbers” of Iranian-made drones.

Military spokesperson: Ukrainian forces ‘stabilize situation’ in Bakhmut area, number of Russian assaults drops. While fighting persists in the area, it has lessened in intensity in the past two days, according to Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Eastern Military Command.

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Official: 7 children remain in front-line city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast. “Unfortunately, children still remain in the city. There are irresponsible parents who hide their children and don’t want to leave the city,” city administration head Vitalii Barabash said on March 26.

Yermak: Russian airstrike hits residential buildings in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, reported on March 26 that a Russian airstrike hit two multistoried buildings in Avdiivka, a city in Donetsk Oblast.

Donetsk Oblast governor shows destruction in Vuhledar. Photos published by Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko on March 26 show the magnitude of destruction in Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast.

Russia strikes residential area in Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast. The artillery shelling damaged a five-story residential building, and caused extensive damage to several private homes, according to the report.

IAEA Head departs on new visit to occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on March 26 that he will soon arrive at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant to “assess first-hand the nuclear safety & security situation at the facility.”

Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom comes to Kyiv as UNICEF ambassador. Bloom spent time at the UNICEF-supported Spilno Children’s Center in Kyiv. It was Bloom’s second visit to the country since 2016 when he traveled to eastern Ukraine.

Watch: How Kherson residents resisted Russian occupation

How Kherson residents resisted Russian occupation

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Ukraine war latest: EU, NATO condemn Putin’s nuclear threats, Kyiv calls for UN Security Council meeting.

On March 26, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus for training purposes.

Photo: Getty Images

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The human cost of Russia’s war

Russian attacks kill 5 civilians, injure 25 across Ukraine over past 24 hours. According to the report, Russia attacked 132 settlements across eight regions – Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts.

Governor: Russia’s attacks on Donetsk Oblast kill 1, injure 2 over past day. One civilian was killed, and two were wounded by Russia’s attacks on Donetsk Oblast over the past 24 hours, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported on March 27.

Russian attacks injure 9 people in Kherson Oblast over the past day. Russia attacked Ukrainian-controlled parts of southern Kherson Oblast 49 times within 24 hours, firing 210 shells from heavy artillery and Grad multiple rocket launchers, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported on March 26.

Death toll rises in Russia’s March 22 missile strike on Zaporizhzhia. A man born in 2004 died in the hospital from the traumatic brain injury he received when Russia hit an apartment building in Zaporizhzhia with a missile.

Governor: Mine explosions severely injure 4 civilians over March 26 in Kherson Oblast. On March 26, Kherson Oblast Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported that as a result of separate mine explosions in the fields near the villages of Ishchenka, Ivanivka, and Kostyrka in the Kherson Oblast, four people were severely injured and hospitalized.

Media: Notorious Russian officer responsible for 2014 Ilovaisk massacre killed in battle. On March 26, Ukrainian journalist Yurii Butusov reported that Russian assault regiment commander Dmitrii Lisitskii, who played a significant role in the Battle of Ilovaisk in Donetsk Oblast in 2014, was killed by Ukrainian forces.

General Staff: Russia has lost 170,550 troops in Ukraine since Feb 24. According to the report, Russia has also lost 3,595 tanks, 6,947 armored fighting vehicles, 5,486 vehicles and fuel tanks, 2,631 artillery systems, 522 multiple launch rocket systems, 277 air defense systems, 305 airplanes, 291 helicopters, 2,216 drones, and 18 boats.

International response

Media: North Macedonia may send 12 Mi-24 helicopters to Ukraine. According to North Macedonian Defense Minister Slavjanka Petrovska, the decision will not affect the combat readiness of the country’s military since the “equipment is already at the end of its use, according to modernization plans.”

Hungarian FM: Hungary advocates for ceasefire in Ukraine but not for Russia to keep occupied territories. Hungary advocating for the ceasefire in Ukraine does not mean accepting that Russia would keep the territories it currently occupies, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in an interview with Associated Press published on March 26.

Guardian: Ukrainian soldiers complete Challenger 2 tank training in UK. Ukrainian soldiers completed training to operate Challenger 2 tanks in the UK, the Guardian reported on March 26.

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